Problems with Manuscript!

Richard Miller rmiller16 at
Mon Mar 5 20:20:25 EST 2001

in article 9800ku$uls$1 at, Martin Offterdinger at
martin.offterdinger at wrote on 3/5/01 8:30 AM:

> Hi everyone,
> This time I have a quite unusual problem with a manuscript.
> We submitted it and received reviews from the editorial office.
> The editorial office undelibaretly uncovered the identitiy of the first
> reviewer.
> If the review would have been somewhat reasonable this would not be such a
> big problem, we could just do the experiments and ignore the identity and
> everyone would be quite happy.
> This is not the case, the reviewer who is now known to us wanted to have
> several (!) impossible experiments!(similar to "go to the spacelab and check
> the influence of reduced gravity on your cells...." just a llittle bit
> overdone!). The review of the second unknown reviewer was quite positive
> though.
> The questions is of course how to react scientifically and moralically
> correct to this situation.
> We are considering to write a letter to the editor explain their mistake and
> ask for a different reviewer.
> But we could as well imagine to check out all the papers from this reviewer
> in Medline and question his/her competence to review our manuscript.
> Has anyone out there ever experienced such a situation and what is the best
> way out?
> Personally, I think that this is one of the most problematic things that can
> ever happen in science. Because theoretically I or any of the coauthors
> could at some point of time later in our career receive a manuscript from
> the reviewer and of course in this case the temptation to somehow "take
> revenge" could be quite high. On the other hand the rule to preserve the
> reviewers anonymity also protects the authors, because noone can raise any
> suspicion that he did influence the reviewer.
> I am looking forward to a discussion.
> martin
Simple ---FORGET IT.  Just rebut each of the points of the first reviewer
and get on with the science; that is what you are there for.  As my boss
(Nobel Winner) said to a less than flattering, very personally degrading
review, "Remember, everyone gets up on the wrong side of the bed sometime.
Let's just get back to work."

Rich Miller

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